Chennaiites upset over delay in extension of Medavakkam Main Road

EB poles in the middle of Medavakkam Main Road at Ullagaram.

Earlier in January, News Today reported that widening works of Medavakkam Main Road finally kick-started at Ullagaram and Puzhuthivakkam in Chennai.

Unfortunately, not even a stone has been moved from the spot after that, residents have alleged.

They also added that EB poles have been left untouched on the main road which are now posing a great risk to residents. Residents have also listed a lot of problems that arise because of the current half-baked work.

Medavakkam Main Road connects Inner Ring Road near Vanuvampet with Tambaram-Velacheri Main Road at Medavakkam Koot Road Junction. Other than the Pallavaram-Thuraipakkam Radial Road, this is the only main access road not only for the residents of Madipakkam but also for those residing in Ullagaram, Puzhuthivakkam, Keelkattalai, Moovarasampet, Kovilambakkam, Sunnambu Kolathur and Nanmangalam.

For more than a decade the widening works of Medavakkam Main Road remained as a shelved project. But late last year, Corporation and Municipality, in a joint exercise, finally started the project.

Ullagaram Narmada Nagar resident, P Chandramouli, said, “For over a month now work has not commenced. As the road was extended on the right side, a ridge has been created between the extended portion and the existing road. During peak hours, motorists can be seen slipping off the ridge onto the gravel and struggling to get their motorcycles back on to the road. Due to the extended muddy portion, the movement of vehicles is utter slow leading to prolonged traffic.”

Another resident from the same locality, Chandra Sekar, said, “When we ask the contractors why the extended portion hasn’t been covered with tarmac, we got a reply that TNEB is yet to shift the poles to the extended side. True to their words, not only have the EB poles delayed the work but are also posing as a great risk for motorists, especially at night. As the road is extended beyond the poles, vehicles are now running on both sides and, if they are not careful enough, they might crash against the good number of poles in the middle of the road both in Puzhuthivakkam and Ullagaram. To make matters worse, the poles still have the wires to households on top of the road preventing lorrys from using the extended portion. So, heavy vehicles are using the existing road while two wheelers are pushed into the unfinished gravel-filled part.”

“As the extended portion is yet to get black topping, the shops nearby took advantage of the situation and have encroached the space. For example, a couple of second-hand two-wheeler shops have parked all their motorcycles on the extended portion of the road, preventing vehicular movement. Cars can been seen driven on the opposite direction without any fear of getting caught. So, we request EB officials to shift the poles as soon as possible so that the work gets completed at least at Puzhuthivakkam and Ullagaram soon,” said Sakthivel, a resident of Vanuvampet.

How things panned out?
As Medavakkam Main Road felt too narrow for the increasing population in the neighbourhood, the then regime back in 2008 proposed to widen the road. In 2013, through a pre-informed notice, State Highways Department was able to raze down many structures especially near Madipakkam but never was able to complete its job.The 2015 floods gave some traction to the project as many more buildings especially those built on encroached lands were brought down. In December last year, Corporation and Municipalities proposed to undertake a joint exercise of demolishing hundreds of houses and commercial establishments built which is currently underway. As a next step now, officials have started the widening process at Ullagaram and Puzhuthivakkam.

 

S Ben Raja